To be clear, you can’t really lose belly fat without diet and exercise.
However, if you’re shooting for a flat stomach, there are other factors at play. We’re not saying that you can rock a six pack without ever hitting the gym, but you can certainly get a flatter stomach by using a few of these tricks.
1. Stop chewing gum.
That’s because many gums contain artificial sweeteners that create stomach bloat. The good news is that the effect is temporary—lay off the gum and the diet candy, and you should notice an improvement fairly quickly.
2. Drink plenty of water.
This can be especially beneficial if you drink water in place of other beverages. Even coffee has a few calories, and diet sodas can create bloat. By switching to water, once and for all, you’ll see drastic improvements.
3. Eat slowly.
There’s another reason to slow down and enjoy your meal: You’ll eat less, since your body will have more time to interpret what you’re doing. You’ll feel full earlier, your body will get more nutrients from the food, and you’ll look better. That’s a pretty solid deal.
4. Improve your posture.
Try setting regular reminders for yourself so that you’re constantly thinking about your posture. One common trick is to use doorways as triggers. When you walk through a doorway, picture a thread connecting your head and the center of the door frame. This will help you remember to stay straight, and once you get into the habit, you’ll correct yourself much less often.
5. Limit your salt intake.
This is a big one. Salt increases water retention, and it can create that bloat that we discussed earlier. You do need some salt, of course, but most Americans get much more than the recommended 2,3000 milligrams per day.
The easiest way to cut salt out of your diet is to avoid packaged foods. Salt is a preservative, and it has the added benefit of making fatty food taste better, so you’ll find it in pretty much any processed food in the grocery store. You should also avoid table salt, where possible; while it complements your favorite foods, it’s also a wholly unnecessary addition to your diet.
To reiterate, these suggestions work best if you’re already fairly close to your ideal weight. If you need to lose a few pounds, diet and exercise are still your best friends—but slightly refining your intake will certainly help you get where you want to be.